I have a geodatabase with ~1000 rasters that I want to render with the same symbology. I have a script that (1) imports the rasters into an mxd and (2) applies a template symbology to the raster layers within the mxd.

However, I want to be able to send the geodatabase to other people so that when they add the raster data from the geodatase into an mxd, they will have the same symbology. From what I have read, layer files are associated with mxd or outside geodatabases.

Is this possible, and if so, how can I do it?

1 Answer 1


You can save the layer with the data as a layer package.

A layer can be saved with its data as a layer package (.lpk). A layer package includes both the layer properties and the dataset referenced by the layer. With a layer package, you can save and share everything about the layer—its symbolization, labeling, field properties, and the data.

  • I think that I understand now. If I want to include the data, I would use the layer packager (.lpk) option. But I would have to export all of my files from the geodatabase, kind of defeating the purpose of using a geodatabase. My second option is to create a separate folder with .lyr files that reference the rasters in the geodatabase. Perhaps the best option is to include a geodatabase in a folder with all the .lyr files that reference the geodatabase. In my opinion, the .lyr should be included in the gdb, but I am not one of ESRI's architects.
    – user44796
    Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 18:32
  • your "second option" of creating *.lyr files sounds like the best approach. Just make sure you create them with relative paths. Commented Sep 23, 2016 at 6:15

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